via FIT press release & SportsLowdown.com
Florida Tech defeats Rollins 15-9 at Panther Field following 90-minute lightning delay
MELBOURNE, Fla. – Florida Tech overcame a 90-minute lightning delay and rolled to its first win of the season, defeating Rollins College 15-9 on Wednesday at Panther Field.
The Panthers came away with their first victory of 2021 thanks in huge part to the amazing play of senior goalie Kyle Renz who made his first career start in the net for the Crimson & Gray. Renz finished with 11 stops in the win, each one firing up his team throughout the game.
“Kyle Renz, what can you say, sometimes in sports you just have a great story,” exclaimed head coach Mark Penn. “He’s waited patiently, and it felt really good as a coach to give that young man an opportunity and watch him seize the moment!
“We knew that if he made saves, it would spark the team. Kyle Renz is the energy of this team. He provided us an amazing presence in the goal. I’m really proud of him. First game, first win.”
Reid Chaconas got the offense going early on with four goals in the first quarter. The fifth-year finished the game with five points and two ground balls. He is just two goals away from tying the all-time goals record for the program, which stands at 96.
“Reid had a great start to the game and got on the board a number of times to drive our offense,” said Penn. “He played with such intensity today and all season long. Once the defense started keying on him, he really did a great job of helping spread the wealth to our other guys. He just makes everybody better.”
Underclassman played a huge role in the win as well as freshman Zach Rozgonyi recorded three goals and an assist in the game. Fellow freshman Luke Jayne and sophomore Chandler Hake each tallied two goals and two assists while fellow freshman Nate Deplancke scored a pair of goals.
“The young players on this team are opportunistic and are starting to feel it,” Penn stated. “The first couple of games, they did not know much about the conference and how every game is a war. They now have a handle on it and are starting to take advantage of opportunities and have an edge about them.
“They’re now moving great within the offense, making great cuts off ball. All the young guys have great confidence. It’s cool to see and it bodes well for us this season and in the future.”
Ethan Tosheff controlled the face-off battle, winning 15-26 attempts and picked up a game-high 10 ground balls.
Chaconas kicked off the scoring with an unassisted effort just 1:06 into the game. The contest then came to a halt 40 seconds later as lightning started showing up on radar in the area. Both teams were forced to retreat from the field and wait out the storm, in what turned out to be a 90-minute delay.
The Tars were the first to strike after the delay and tied the game at 1-1 with 11:33 to go in the first quarter. Chaconas scored his second of the day to put Tech up 2-1 with 9:49 left. The Panthers took a 4-2 lead on consecutive man-up goals, first by Jayne with 4:10 left and then Chaconas off an assist from Jayne with less than three minutes to go in the quarter. Chaconas netted his fourth and final goal with 15 seconds remaining in the first to hand Tech a 5-3 lead.
Back-to-back goals by Hake, off assists from Andy Stump and Rozgonyi, and an unassisted tally by Deplancke with 8:15 to go in the second quarter increased the Crimson & Gray’s advantage to 8-3. RC scored with 3:48 remaining in the frame and the Panthers went into halftime leading 8-4.
Quick goals by Rozgonyi and Deplancke to start the third pushed Tech’s lead to 10-4. Justin Williams, who finished with two points in the game, scored his lone goal off an assist from Chaconas with 9:15 to go in the quarter to make the margin 11-5. Jayne then stuck a beautiful bounce shot into the top left corner for his second goal of the game to put the Panthers up 12-5 with 6:26 left in the third.
The Tars answered with a 3-0 run to cut Tech’s lead to 12-8 with 12:06 remaining in the fourth. Rozgonyi scored his second of the day with 7:57 to go off a feed from Jayne before Patrick Stewart found the back of the net 39 seconds later, off an assist from Williams, to increase the Panthers’ lead to 14-8. Rozgonyi completed his hat trick with 4:57 to go, off an assist from Hake, to close the scoring in the game.
Florida Tech ended the contest with an advantage in shots (47-35) and ground balls (47-38) and had two less turnovers in the game than the Tars, 25-23.
The Panthers will look to ride the momentum of their first win as they head into their toughest matchup of the season on Saturday, a road game at No. 2 Tampa (3-0).
“I believe Tampa is the best team in the country,” said Penn. “All we want to do is go over there and put our best foot forward. I think we needed a win before that game so we have some confidence, because we need to play our best game on Saturday.”
The contest between the Spartans and Panthers is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. at the Naimoli Family Athletic and Intramural Complex in Tampa, Florida.
For the latest news, updates, and information on the Florida Tech men’s lacrosse team, visit FloridaTechSports.com. Fans can also stay up to date on the latest Panthers news by following Florida Tech Athletics on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.
The Florida Tech men’s lacrosse team got their first win of 2021 on Wednesday, beating the Rollins College Tars 15-9 at Panther Field on the Olin Complex.
Reid Chaconas came out like a house of fire, scoring all four of his goals in the first quarter. He ended the day with four goals and an assist, tallying 11 shots. He now has eight goals on the season. Zach Rozgonyi had a hat-trick and an assist and Luke Jayne had two goals and two assists, as did Chandler Hake. Nate Deplancke netted two, and Justin Williams and Patrick Stewart had single tallies.
Panthers’ goalie Kyle Renz went the distance in the cage, making 11 saves. Cody Iserman played the first half, while Patrick Thomas played the second half.
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